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their membership to act. in 1996, president bill clinton signed the welfare reform act and ended a 60-year-long federal guarantee to help the poorest people in our nation. six years later, many politicians praised the reforms for cutting welfare rolls by half. but critics pointed out that extreme poverty, and poverty among single working women, had risen despite a booming economy. [ chanting ] hundreds of grassroots groups joined forces to advance an anti-poverty agenda behind the banner of a new coalition, the national campaign for jobs and income support. despite a paid staff of only 15, the national campaign had a profound effect on federal policy. ladon james was one of the national field organizers. like many of the low-income leaders she worked with, ladon herself was once on welfare. i became a single parent. and i was attending college, and i was worried about how was i going to make sure that i could get to my doctor's appointments and have some sort of coverage. how am i going to make sure that me and my son have food to eat? it was really, really hard. poussaint: ladon's own exp
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